Almost done -- 2 final questions [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-27-2008, 12:38 PM
Hi all, just getting started on my first shower tiling project.

Briefly, ripping out old shower with fiberglass base/tile walls to do a complete tile shower. 32x46, ceramic tile, 2x2 on the floor with 12x12 on the walls.

I'm the kind of person that thinks I can remember all that I need at the store and then makes three trips back. So this time, I'm trying to make sure I have a complete materials list. I'm also going to note where I can get the materials that I need/questions about where to get them). I think it would be quite helpful to do a generic version of this list and post in the liberry.

So here goes, please add correct along the way:

1) 1/2" or thicker plywood to reinforce the subfloor. (big box)

2) 15lb tar paper (big box)

3) Metal lathe (?)

4) Portland cement (big box)

5) Sharp sand (?)

6) Waterproof membrane (plumbing supply -- no one within 50 miles carries Schluter stuff so going with all Noble stuff)

7) Sealant for membrane (plumbing supply)

8) Corners for curb/bench (plumbing supply)

9) Drain assembly (plumbing supply)

10) Vapor barrier (Big box -- I have lots of 8ml poly lying around, I don't presume there's any problem with using thicker than 4ml is there?)

11) CBU for walls (big box)

12) Thinset mortar (big box)

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02-27-2008, 02:58 PM
To clarify, on specific questions:
1) What type of drain assembly am I likely to find underneath the fiberglass pan? Will I need to buy a whole new drain assembly?

2) Where is one likely to find the required metal lathe and sharp sand? I spent 45 minutes this morning calling around to various places (building supply, big box, other hardware, tile, and plumbing supply) before I found someone who carried CPE and PVC. Don't want to go through that again if someone can direct me to the type of outfit that's likely to have them.

02-27-2008, 03:29 PM
3 & 5: cement or block supply store in your area. (a place familiar with stucco)

6: a knowledgeable tile store in your area should supply it.

Scottish Tile and Stone
02-27-2008, 03:29 PM
You can buy all your schluter stuff right here.. Very fast shipping..

02-27-2008, 08:00 PM
Theold--ScottyB: sent you an email.

Anyone have any thoughts on what drain setup I'm likely to find under the fiberglass pan?

Did I leave anything out in my materials list?

02-27-2008, 09:51 PM
if the fiberglass pan had a built in drain then under your pan you
will find only a pipe that was attached to the pans drain.

you can buy the Schluter stuff from Tile-Experts (
from this forum, I think they ran or run an add here.

02-28-2008, 07:33 PM
So, I've finally gotten around to pricing out various approaches, and it seems I can use the Noble system, including pro-slope, for around $200. Or I can use Schluter/Kerdi for almost $600.

I guess I'm finding it hard to believe that the Schluter system is that much better to justify that kind of price difference. Has anyone used both and determined that its worth paying the extra (out of your own pocket)?

John Bridge
02-28-2008, 07:40 PM
Hi Tim, :)

I don't think you can do a Noble shower for that amount, and subtract the foam tray from the Schluter list, and you'll eliminate a big part of that cost. I do Kerdi showers all the time. Schluter materials never run over $300 retail. I do mud floors because the showers are all different sizes, none of which seem to be compatible with the tray.

Don't get me wrong, now. I'm not talking down the Noble product. I just want to make sure we're comparing apples to apples. :)

02-28-2008, 08:31 PM
To be honest, I was very surprised at the difference, hence my question. Given your feedback I went back to figure it out again, and discovered that the Noble store is really difficult to use and it hadn't put everything I had checked into the cart. That'll throw your price comparison off by a bit.

I now have three totally different questions.

1) Floor deflection: before I go in and rip things up, as best I can tell I'm on 2x10 SYP joists, 16" OC, running 16 to 18' which yields about L/200. At the same time, the existing floor in the entire bathroom is ceramic tile and there's one of those massive roman tubs in there. After 10 years there's no significant cracking of grout or any evident sag anywhere. So, I'm guessing that the deflection is much better than I'm calculating. Does that sound right? Should I be concerned that after I rip things up I won't be able to just put down an additional sheet of 5/8" and go?

2) If I decide to go with a complete mud floor, I've seen several different takes on reinforcing the pre-slope, the bed or both. What's the official John Bridge forums wisdom: do you use lathe in the pre-slope, in the bed, either or both?

3) The shower is already framed out with a bench. For the horizontal surface, do I need to use pan liner and mud a bed? Or what are the alternatives?

Brad Denny
02-28-2008, 09:17 PM
'Elo Tim,
1.) Sounds scary. Are the joists accessible?

2.) I always paper and lath the floor before preslope, but never put wire in the bed. That's not an official stance of the forum, just me.

3.) How you address the bench will be determined by your waterproofing system.

02-29-2008, 08:57 AM
1) Joists are not accessible -- 2nd floor, finished below. Don't want to tear up the floor of the whole bathroom. One of the reasons I'm considering using Pro-Slope is what I presume is significant weight savings over a mudded pre-slope.

3) Right now I'm planning on using Chloralloy liner for the pan, and debating whether to use Kerdi/NobleSeal for the walls or just to go with vapor barrier behind CBU.

03-01-2008, 09:37 AM

Mods -- perhaps you can change the title?

03-01-2008, 11:05 PM
Tim - the biggest problem you are concerned with on the floor is deflection, not load. Using trays and such won't change that - ie, the tray doesn't add any stiffness.

03-03-2008, 10:23 AM
1) Any more thoughts on the deflection issue? I guess I'm fairly confident that I'm OK given that the floor (10' by 20') has been tiled for more than 10 years without any problems.

2) I happened onto a great deal on EZboard from someone with extra (don'tcha love craigslist?). I've read the thread here on it, but of course there are moisture barrier questions. I'm on outside walls, so my plan is to use 8mil poly (it's what I have) behind the EzBoard and just go with that. Any concerns?

03-05-2008, 10:04 AM
Bumping one more time in hopes of getting some others to weigh in on the deflection issues particularly but also on the moisture barrier/ezboard questions (and any of the other questions from farther up the thread).

All opinions appreciated deeply.

03-06-2008, 08:32 AM

08-24-2008, 07:16 PM
I'm almost done with my shower -- a project that I started back in March. It's amazing how long a project can take you when you have 2 sons under age 3.

Anyway, with the fabulous info here I've been able to move through virtually the entire project with only one bone-headed error that no amount of advice could have saved me from (e.g. "do the arithmetic correctly").

I'm down to putting in the floor tile and have two questions:

1) After mudding the floor (and letting it dry) I covered the floor with a couple layers of towels to prevent any damage and save any tiles I dropped. I've just pulled the towels up and noticed that the there are quite a few spots that are "worn" away. I can only assume that the mix in the very top layer of the floor was a bit too sandy. It's nothing dramatic, just a bit lumpy.

Should I try to do a skim coat of thinset over the top before doing another layer to set the tile into? Should I just ignore the lumpiness and make sure I get a good bed of thinset to set the tile into?

2) None of my corners is quite square. I'd blame it on the original builders but I'm sure I couldn't have done any better. Anyway, I'm not quite sure where to start my floor tile from to minimize it looking off-kilter at the walls -- and hopefully minimizing the amount of cutting I have to do. (I'm using 12x12 mats of 2x2 tile). Thoughts?

08-24-2008, 07:19 PM
1- either way is fine, you can skim over the low spots and let them dry, or use extra thinset during the setting process, six on one hand, half a dozen on the other

2- i'd snap a line or use a laser perpendicular to your doorway, let the walls fall as they may, that way it wont "look" out of square regardless, check your shower curb off of that reference line, if they are square with each other GREAT if they are close, you can probably split the difference and still be cool

my two cents

08-24-2008, 07:23 PM
Since it's 2x2 tiles on 12x12 mats, I'd skim the floor first and let it dry... It's difficult to work with extra thinset under small tiles.. You'll spend the following day scraping it out of the grout joints.

08-24-2008, 07:29 PM
good point, i didn't catch that they were sheets of tile, yes skim first

08-24-2008, 09:18 PM
when i set that stuff i usually go with a worn 1/4 notch and i also use a float to get all my tiles flat and to adjust my sheets. Or, ill use my wood block that i use to gauge mud with.

when you set the 1st sheet you need to slide it down the wall its tought to do depending if its set on mesh or if it has the rubber nubs between it(daltile) you wont have this problem.